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Maoists now target Nembang

Monday, January 26th, 2015
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Analysis by Om Astha Rai

It is puzzling why the Maoists have decided to focus on CA Chair Subhas Nembang and not UML Chair KP Oli as their next target. Nembang is a fair and objective Chair who has played by the book. In fact, despite opposition from the NC and others, he gave the Maoists the 10 days they demanded to effectively extend the tenure of the Assembly beyond 22 January.

Earlier this month he said he was ready to sacrifice his “gentleman image” for the sake of a consensus on the contentious issues of the new constitution.

On 1 January, Nembang sought mandate to prepare the constitution’s first draft if the parties failed to forge a consensus in four days time, as per their mutual agreement last year.

“It’s not the best way out, but I am ready to face all the consequences,” he said.

Being a seasoned politician, Nembang knew that although he was left with no options, taking the process of voting forward would open him up to accusation of being biased to his own UML party.

As expected, the Maoist-Madhesi alliance of 31 parties did not allow him to write the constitution’s preliminary draft. Instead, they kept holding one after another inconclusive meeting in a frantic but futile search for a consensus. And, they eventually missed the 22 January deadline.

After the deadline expired with neither the new constitution nor a broader agreement on the disputed issues like federalism, form of governance, judiciary model and electoral system, Nembang took a bold step by tabling Proposal Drafting Committee (PDC). The PDC, which will draft a questionnaire on the disputed issues and submit it to the CA, is the first step towards passing the new constitution through a vote.

After the CA endorsed Nembang’s proposal amidst sloganeering by the opposition lawmakers, he has been subjected to attacks by the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi parties. Shortly after the CA endorsed Nembang’s proposal, the UCPN (Maoist) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal accused him of acting like a ruling party leader rather than an impartial CA chair.

Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, the UCPN (Maoist)’s chief whip, told Nepali Times that Nembang showed his ‘true colour’ by ‘siding with the ruling parties.” “He had sided with the UML and the NC in the last hours of the first CA,” said Pokhrel. “He did it again by initiating the voting process.”

UCPN (Maoist) leader Khimlal Devkota dubbed Nembang’s move as extra-constitutional. He tweeted: “Announcement of CA Chair is entirely extra-constitutional and CA rules and procedures, there is no provision (as such) in CA rules.”

Opposition parties not only restricted them to criticising Nembang on social media. On Monday, the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi parties decided to take to streets against Nembang, burning his effigies in some places.

But, the opposition parties seem to have ignored the fact that the PDC is Nembang’s middle-path approach. Bipin Adhikari, a constitutional lawyer who has been advocating for a vote on the disputed issues, said that what Nembang did was not sufficient.  He tweeted: “Questionnaire Committee at Constituent Assembly: Half a loaf is better than no bread.”

Nembang was under tremendous pressure from the ruling parties to form the questionnaire committee in last Friday’s CA meeting itself. By forming the PDC, he has given the parties some more time to work on a consensus. The PDC has not been asked to submit the questionnaire right away to the CA. The PDC will hold its first meeting only on 30 January. And even thereafter, it will still have five more days to prepare the questionnaire.

A UCPN (Maoist) leader, on condition of anonymity, says threats to boycott talks with Nembang and ruling parties are not exactly as they appear. “Of course, there will be no formal talks,” says he. “But, informal talks and consensus efforts will go on.”

So, why are the UCPN (M) leaders targeting Nembang? He is just a hapless pawn to rally cadres for the month-long protests they announced Monday against the ruling NC and the UML. But by targeting a popular and fair-minded man they may have made a blunder.

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4 Responses to “Maoists now target Nembang”

  1. sushma karki on Says:

    Huge respect to this man. When monkeys were busy making our parliament as circus we saw him lying their helplessly instead of being happy that opponents are degrading their own image by themselves.
    He is truly irreplaceable.
    If UCPN has only five percent of what Subash Nembang has , UCPN perhaps would have been pictured differently.

  2. Kamal Thaoa on Says:

    Nemwang is the right person for this crisis. Chairperson needs to bring monekys under control. More than monkeys, 30 million Nepali deserves constitution.

  3. yam gurung on Says:

    The regime of Nepal sure knows how to cut diamond with diamond. Subash Nembang being made the scapegoat.
    And the makune and other knows it very well.And this is “Divide & Rule Policy” of the puppet leaders of Nepal.

  4. Yam Gurung on Says:

    The puppet ,regimes of Nepal sure knows how to cut diamond with diamond.Subash Nembang is just been made scapegoat by the regime “Divide and Rule Policy”or the”ChanakyaNiti”!
    Nepal flag clearly shows the discrimination slogan on the top Chandra bansi (moon dynasty) on the bottom ruling the Surya bansi (sun dynasty) even in the 21st centuy.
    Because of the Gurkha recruitment specially the martial race and other from Nepal still unable to
    compete,within the power of Nepal.

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